You’ve made the leap and started a new business! But now you need to market your new business online. So, you’ve made a Facebook page for your business and invited your friends and family to like it. Maybe you also created a website for your business.
But what is your strategy to bring in customers and clients? By having a robust digital marketing strategy, you can turn your website and social media profiles into a robust customer acquisition engine to fuel your business’s growth. Follow these 9 stupidly simple steps and get found online by more customers.
1. Update Business Directories
If your business has been around longer than a couple of months, your business listing is already all over the web. Business directories, your website, social media, there are many places with your business name, address, phone number, and website information. Ensuring every listing is consistent is key to local search.
Search engines like Google can’t walk to your storefront and verify you are a legitimate business.
To check, search your business name and city and click on every directory listing you find and make sure the name, address, phone number, and website listed matches what’s on your own website. If you find any error, you can often contact the list owner and ask them to update it or you might need to create an account to fix the listing. Often, these changes take a lot of time and effort to get changed but are 100% worth it. Start the process now.
2. Claim your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is key to staying relevant in local search results. When people search for products or services, Google shows the top three businesses at the top of the search results. These are Google’s best guess for which businesses meet the searcher’s need.
After your website, your free GMB listing is your greatest lead generation asset.
By optimizing your Google My Business listing, you will improve your local ranking on a greater number of search terms. Because the listings show the relevant information, many customers never go further into the search results, and rather call or visit one of the first three businesses listed.
3. List Your Address
You might be surprised, but many local businesses don’t list their address or even the city they operate out of on their website. Home-based businesses seem to be the biggest culprit of this. It’s understandable to not list your home address, but without listing the city you serve, how will people know you can help them?
Additionally, if you are a service business (like a plumber) located in a metro area, you will benefit by listing all of the nearby suburbs and towns you service.
Likewise, a restaurant would benefit by listing their neighborhood or district they are in. Again, not just for SEO purposes, but also to let potential customers feel confident they’re on the site of a business who can help them.
4. Ask for Reviews
Reviews are powerful. Eighty two percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before visiting them. Having online reviews makes consumers more likely to use a business. It’s also a strong ranking signal for search engine results. If all of your competitors have reviews, then it’s even more important for you to ask for them. Think about your own behavior; would you be more inclined to click on the link with zero stars, or the one with 5 stars and 40 reviews?
82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before visiting in person.
The best way to get reviews is by simply asking your customers to write them. You can do this in person during the sale, but perhaps the easiest way is to ask through email. You can come up with a template to send to customers after a transaction simply asking if they would like to leave a review. By including a link to the review site you can make it easier for the customer to follow through with their review.
5. Have a Website that Looks Great on Mobile
Increasingly, people are using their phones as their primary Internet device. This is even more so when they are searching for local businesses or products. Having a great looking website that is easily read and navigated is more important than ever.
If your website is hard to read on mobile phones, you’re missing out on half of web traffic.
If your website takes a long time to load on phones, people will hit the back button and go to the next listing. Or, if they have a hard time reading your site and can’t find your address or phone number, chances are they will give up and check out a competitor.
6. Make Your Website Load as Quick as Possible
A slow-loading website will mean customers will navigate away before you have a chance to sell to them. Large images and videos can slow a site to a crawl, especially on mobile devices. But other things can also contribute to long load times and a slow business website.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
You can use GTmetrix or Pingdom Tools to test your website’s speed. If you’re not technically inclined, figuring out exactly how to speed up your site might mean hiring a professional.
7. Use Schema on Your Site
Structured data or schema markup is a machine-readable code that you put on a website to help search engines gather more information about your business. For example, if you host events, you can put structured data on your site so search engines can display a schedule of your upcoming events. Including structured data on your site will help search engines understand what industry your business is in, your opening hours, products you sell, etc.
Structured data lets search engines understand what your business does.
There are hundreds of different types of data that you can include this way on your site Including:
- Business Hours
By including structured data on your site, you help search engines display the correct information about your business.